The Finance Minister of Hyderabad, T Harish Rao, has written a letter to the Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh, asking him to stop the privatisation of the Medak Ordnance Factory. He believes that privatising this factory and others across the country could have negative consequences for national security and the thousands of employees who work there. The Finance Minister is concerned that privatising seven public sector organisations in the defence sector could hinder the development of new weapons and undermine the Make in India initiative.
Harish Rao also presented six demands to the Union Minister in response to a request from the AyudhaKarmagara Telangana Employees Samakhya. These demands include rolling back the decision to privatise defence sector enterprises, strengthening research departments, modernising the mission, providing skill training to employees, simplifying administration and procurement procedures, and ordering work for the ordnance factory in line with Army requirements.
The Finance Minister is worried that the lack of work in the current financial year could lead to the factory being declared a ‘sick industry’, resulting in the loss of employment for 2,500 employees directly and 5,000 people indirectly. He urged the government to withdraw its decision to privatise these critical facilities because of their importance to national defence and potential negative impact of privatisation. Experts have also warned that privatisation could lead to a loss of strategic autonomy and put the country’s security at risk.